If you’re new to soccer, you might have never heard of Alan Shearer, but he is the man who sits at the top of the all-time Premier League goalscorers list. He had the chance to join the biggest team in the country at one time, Manchester United, but picked his hometown team instead. This is the story of Alan Shearer, how he became the top goalscorer and why the biggest club in England wasn’t good enough for him.
Shearer was born and raised in Newcastle, in the north of England. He came from a working-class family and learned early on in life that any success he would have he’d have to earn himself. For Shearer, that was just the sort of challenge he thrived on and would replicate many of his career choices when it came to professional soccer.
He impressed many clubs as a young player, but he chose to move to the opposite end of the country to Southampton in 1986. Here he would begin to impress everyone as he played in the youth team, before eventually getting his opportunity in the senior roster. In 118 games for Southampton Shearer scored 23 goals and got a move closer to home with Blackburn Rovers in 1992.
This was where people would really sit up and take notice of the young striker.
Winning the Premier League
The Premier League’s first season began in 1992, and Alan Shearer had just transferred to Blackburn Rovers, a team that had potential to do well. They were investing heavily in their playing squad, and Shearer was the guy they relied on score their goals. In 1995 Blackburn sealed Premier League glory on the final game of the season, lifting the trophy above their big rivals Manchester United.
They were runners up the year before but thanks to Shearer’s 34 goals Blackburn were now champions. He had lifted the biggest prize in English soccer and now knew what it took to make a team a success. Shearer stayed one more season with Blackburn before seeking a move elsewhere. In 1996 his hometown club would come calling, and Shearer found it impossible to turn them down.
Ten years after leaving Newcastle to play for Southampton, Alan Shearer was bought by his hometown team. Blackburn had a rivalry with Manchester United, who also wanted to by Shearer, but he chose to go back home. He could have joined Sir Alex Ferguson in Manchester and won many more championships, but the striker wanted to play soccer in front of his local supporters. Shearer was sold to Newcastle in 1996, and he would stay there for ten seasons.
It was no doubt a tough choice for Shearer to reject Manchester United and if he had gone there, he would have had many more memories of winning. Instead, he went home to play for Newcastle, and now all of his efforts were on bringing them success. Despite their best efforts, Newcastle were unable to knock Manchester United from the top spot and Shearer would miss out on winning the Premier League once more.
Enjoying the good times
It wasn’t all bad for Shearer at Newcastle though as the striker was able to give hope to his hometown fans. They almost managed to win it with Shearer scoring their goals, but they finished runners up. Still, there were plenty of goals for Shearer to enjoy celebrating and the forward ended his ten years in Newcastle with 206 in all competitions.
He became the club’s top goalscorer of all-time and in total has scored 260 in the Premier League. Newcastle fans knew that anytime Shearer was on the pitch they still had a chance in every game, no matter what the score was. He retired as a legend in Newcastle, and he is undeniably their greatest ever Premier League player.
Things could have been different for both Shearer and Newcastle if the striker had let his head rule his heart. In the end, nothing would please Shearer more than returning home, so he chose to reject Manchester United. There were many smiles made thanks to Shearer’s goals, and he can’t look back at his time playing for Newcastle with anything other than joy.
Sure he might have won more as a player, but for some athletes, winning isn’t everything. Instead of conquering all before him, Shearer was able to become a hero and enjoy the rewards earned through hard work, something his working-class upbringing would have helped with.
Shearer has proven that you don’t need championships to be remembered as a great pro athlete. He has owned the all-time Premier League scoring record for over ten years and might hold it forever. The striker became a legend in the eyes of the people he grew up with, and will never be forgotten when it comes to Premier League icons.
He could have won more if he went to another club, but would he have such good memories?